Much as I expected, my idea of “data” was completely off the mark. For 80 minutes this morning, Dick Buchanan tortured us with questions and rhetoric trying to extract the four types of data.

No one had a clue.

I’m not sure if Dick enjoyed pulling our teeth, or if he thought we should have figured it out sooner. And I’m not sure if everyone enjoyed the way he did it: putting people on the spot; discarding answers he didn’t want; telling people to speak up; telling people not to comment again (in jest); complementing people for an intriguing idea that had nothing to do with the matter at hand.

I felt dumb, threatened, challenged, appreciated, amused.

It Looks Like a Fish

That’s what I had to say about the wrench.

The Four Types of Data

Eventually, through much coaxing, the four types of data were named. I wrote them down.

I do not know how I will apply this knowledge. But I trust Dick will continue to drag us, kicking and screaming, away from the things we know into the uncharted lands of interaction.

In the interest of preserving this painful and yet amusing ordeal, I will not tell you what the four types are.

So Much Intrigue

One of the many intriguing comments Dick made was that learning stuff progressively decreases your creativity. How do you get beyond what people have told you to learn new things?

We didn’t react when he said that. He told us we should be very upset.

He further said there’s a tendency to interpret something quickly. Association and context fixes some of the meanings, and that’s dangerous. It does not allow for a more open interpretation.

But he did offer hope in that what’s fixed can be unfixed. However, rather than tell us how, he rhetorically asked (or maybe it wasn’t rhetorical) how does one go about becoming open or getting free?

Dick Isn’t for Everyone

I can see how some might not like his methods. He makes you feel uncomfortable and unsure of yourself. But I believe there’s a point, and that he’s actually doing what he does in our best interest. He’s not about bullshit, and I appreciate that. And he’s not afraid to push us, and I respect that.

The first day of class he said we aren’t in competition with each other; we are in competition with him. That’s awesome.

I like Dick.